See – Think – Do!
‘Mini Vinnies’ is the name for a St Vincent de Paul Group for primary aged children. At St Helen’s we meet once a week to talk about how we can help others that are in need within our school community of Plaistow. We plan fundraising events within the school and complete activities to help to raise awareness of topical issues.
‘Mini Vinnies’ are children aged between 7 to 11 who, with the permission of their parents and the support of school staff, are encouraged to embark on their first steps as possible ‘Vincentians for life’.
As Mini Vinnies, the children have their own ‘treasured’ Prayer, Pledge and Badge, a dedicated website and a range of bright and colourful documents which guide them in their formative steps – helping and enabling them to become in every sense, young Vincentians – or ‘Mini Vinnies’.
Raising Awareness of Homelessness
St Helen’s Mini Vinnies hold an annual ‘Sleep Out’ where the children are sponsored to sleep in the hall of the school. We have a mini liturgy service around a campfire, share some soup and go to bed reflecting on what life is like for homeless people across the country that go without the luxuries that the children take for granted. This year the children are raising money for Caritas Anchor House.
The Mini Vinnies took responsibility for collecting food and arranging the school’s display for the Harvest Festival Assembly. They also arranged the distribution of food to different local families and food banks through their connections with the local SVP society.
Cleaning the Chapel
Our Mini Vinnie’s club has been serving the community by cleaning the convent chapel over the summer term; selflessly giving their time to help within the church.